OAKLAND, Calif. — There’s an excitement in the air, and why wouldn’t there be? Opening Day is around the corner.
The Sox arrived at the Oakland Coliseum, where they open the 2016 season on Monday night, for a Sunday afternoon workout. A successful spring training is behind them, followed by two wins in San Diego against the Padres in final preseason exhibitions.
“We like where they are at and we are ready to go,” manager Robin Ventura said as his team stretched on the field.
“I like the vibe they have. I like the energy and the confidence they come out of spring training with and you just go from there.”
Sox manager Robin Ventura, second from left, and GM Rick Hahn, second from right, talk things over Sunday.
Every team is excited about getting the season under way, especially after six long weeks of spring training, and Ventura must have used the term a dozen or so times talking about the opener. He said he was feeling “normal” excitement, “but you know every group is a little bit different,” he said.
“As far as confidence going in, ready to play, this is a different group or a little bit older,” Ventura said. “It’s a little saltier group that has been around a little bit. There are guys that have been around a long time and guys who haven’t been around very much and a lot right in the middle.”
The expected line to face Cy Young candidate Sonny Gray is Adam Eaton RF, Jimmy Rollins SS, Jose Abreu 1B, Todd Frazier 3B, Melky Cabrera LF, Avisail Garcia DH, Brett Lawrie 2B, Austin Jackson CF, Alex Avila C. Left-hander Chris Sale starts on the mound.
Monday’s game will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Net. Ken Harrelson, who is cutting back his workload and doing road games and select home home games including Friday’s home opener, will be on the call alongside Steve Stone.
Broadcaster Ken Harrelson takes in the Sox’ workout.